Posted: 2019-03-11 19:00:00.0

There are more authors, self-published and otherwise, out in the world than ever before, and more people are competing for a reader’s time than you might have experienced even as few as five years ago. Today, anyone can load a book onto Amazon completely free and with very little work.


Why Write a Book?

Indie Author Tools

We live in, essentially, the best and the worst possible time to begin a writing career.

There are more authors, self-published and otherwise, out in the world than ever before, and more people are competing for a reader’s time than you might have experienced even as few as five years ago. Today, anyone can load a book onto Amazon completely free and with very little work.

The results vary: some of those books are incredible and we wonder why publishers missed the opportunity, and other books are so terrible that they can barely be called books at all.

On the other hand, there are also more tools and resources to help a newcomer publish a book on their own than ever before. No longer does publishing a novel require an army of people and a strong network to happen, but now a single person with a computer can release professional content out into the world that is on par with what the largest publishing firms offer.

A quick google search will show you thousands of articles, blogs, resources, services, and other things on the Internet that offer to help you in your writing journey. I’m sure many authors from the last several decades would have loved to live in our modern age and be able to do everything on their own, and in many cases they certainly would have made more money.

The problem is figuring out which of these resources are worth checking into. After all, not all content is created equally, and the Internet is a morass of unpleasantness and anger that can suck you in and refuse to let you go. Figuring out how to navigate it can be a daunting task, and it starts right up front when you are trying to find the best software to write with.

I am easily distracted by new and shiny things, and I love to start projects and try out new styles of writing. I will start writing a book, make it about halfway, and then bail on it and start something else that is new and interesting. I love to start new projects, but I hate finishing them.

Example: I have started writing it dozens of times, and then I just put it off and forget about it for a while before finally coming back to it. It’s difficult for me to stay on task because I have an ‘ooh, shiny!’ personality.

I hate editing even more, which created another distraction and excuse for me to bounce from project to project. It always seemed like such a tremendous hassle trying to proofread my own books, and it took me a long time to build up the patience and dedication to actually focus on what I was working on.

Once I learned this lesson I was able to actually finish each project I started before moving on to something else. It is still a work in progress, and I often have a lot of things up in the air at the same time, but I’m getting better at it.

When I finish a project, I want to publish it. I’m proud of what I’ve written, and I want to push it out into the world so that other people can enjoy it as well.

When I first started writing, I spent a lot of time and energy working on projects, but when I launched them, they weren’t as professional as I would have liked because I was in a hurry to have them finished and out in the world.

I have since re-edited many of my earlier works, as well as reformatting and adding tweaks to make them look more professional, but I found out as I went that it was always better to take my time and get it right the first time. This ends up saving me a lot of heartache and grief later when I have to go back and clean them up.

Why would anyone write?

We live in, essentially, the best and the worst possible time to begin a writing career. There are more authors, self-published and otherwise, out in the world than ever before, and more people are competing for a reader’s time than you might have experienced even as few as five years ago. Today, anyone can load a book onto Amazon completely free and with very little work.

The results vary: some of those books are incredible and we wonder why publishers missed the opportunity, and other books are so terrible that they can barely be called books at all.

On the other hand, there are also more tools and resources to help a newcomer publish a book on their own than ever before. No longer does publishing a novel require an army of people and a strong network to happen, but now a single person with a computer can release professional content out into the world that is on par with what the largest publishing firms offer.

A quick google search will show you thousands of articles, blogs, resources, services, and other things on the Internet that offer to help you in your writing journey. I’m sure many authors from the last several decades would have loved to live in our modern age and be able to do everything on their own, and in many cases they certainly would have made more money.

The problem is figuring out which of these resources are worth checking into. After all, not all content is created equally, and the Internet is a morass of unpleasantness and anger that can suck you in and refuse to let you go. Figuring out how to navigate it can be a daunting task, and it starts right up front when you are trying to find the best software to write with.

Let's take things back a step...

Some of these author services are better than others, and there are quite a few people out there interested only in stealing your money rather than offering a legitimate service that can help you out. However, there are also quite a few who are willing to help you in any way they can and truly want to help you succeed. The problem is, such people generally look the same.

The biggest place that is difficult to navigate is the sudden influx of ‘courses’ to help people do something. Content is broken down and spread out, and often the author of such course-based content will charge a lot of money to divulge it. It usually comes with promises of ‘learn this secret’ or ‘the simple tool no author uses that would enhance their income by 1,000,000%!’

The thing is, that kind of stuff doesn’t exist. There is no easy solution to making a fortune as an author, and it is impossible to plan in advance for something like it. It all eventually comes back to hard work and luck.

Everything you do, every decision you make, needs to be carefully investigated and handled with discretion because it is incredibly easy to make mistakes and waste a lot of money.

I know this from personal experience, because I’ve spent a great deal of cash on a lot of things that turned out to be a complete waste of time and money. I didn’t know what I was doing and just kept trying new and different things with the idea that if I threw enough promotions at the wall, some of them would stick.

And, to a small extent, I was right. I managed to build up a decent following and learned a lot of really useful lessons about what does and doesn’t work by doing this. I’m the sort of person who likes to make mistakes for myself, and no matter how many times someone tells me something, I like to try it on my own.

However, if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t like to make your own mistakes and would rather learn something up front to avoid them, then you can learn from the things I did wrong and save yourself a lot of money and grief.

Here are some problems that self-published authors run into all the time that you can hopefully avoid in your own writing!

Problem One: Inconsistency

I am easily distracted by new and shiny things, and I love to start projects and try out new styles of writing. I will start writing a book, make it about halfway, and then bail on it and start something else that is new and interesting. I love to start new projects, but I hate finishing them.

Example: I have started writing it dozens of times, and then I just put it off and forget about it for a while before finally coming back to it. It’s difficult for me to stay on task because I have an ‘ooh, shiny!’ personality.

I hate editing even more, which created another distraction and excuse for me to bounce from project to project. It always seemed like such a tremendous hassle trying to proofread my own books, and it took me a long time to build up the patience and dedication to actually focus on what I was working on.

Once I learned this lesson I was able to actually finish each project I started before moving on to something else. It is still a work in progress, and I often have a lot of things up in the air at the same time, but I’m getting better at it.

Rushing

When I finish a project, I want to publish it. I’m proud of what I’ve written, and I want to push it out into the world so that other people can enjoy it as well.

When I first started writing, I spent a lot of time and energy working on projects, but when I launched them, they weren’t as professional as I would have liked because I was in a hurry to have them finished and out in the world.

I have since re-edited many of my earlier works, as well as reformatting and adding tweaks to make them look more professional, but I found out as I went that it was always better to take my time and get it right the first time. This ends up saving me a lot of heartache and grief later when I have to go back and clean them up.

Problem three: Lack of Goals

This is basically the reverse of my previous mistake. I would never set goals for myself to attain on a daily basis, so it consistently took longer to actually write books than it should have, and then I wouldn’t have a clear strategy about how to publish them.

I found out that setting daily goals, and making them easily attainable and (more importantly) easily trackable makes a huge difference in what I manage to get accomplished day to day. I can write and publish books in a quarter the time it used to take me now that I have a system.

This is a really important point, because it can seem daunting trying to craft a book from scratch, but if you turn it into little pieces and just plug away at it slowly, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish.

Problem four: Book as Child

Negative feedback hurts.

It’s important to take everything in stride and always work on creating something else. Not everyone will love your project, and that is perfectly okay. Early on in my career (as my wife attests), negative feedback was really hard to deal with. I’m not alone, and I’ve spoken with countless other authors who also have a hard time ignoring the negative feedback.

It is caused by the headwinds/tailwinds of life and affects everything we do: it is easier for us to focus on the bad things that happen to us than the good, so a positive review can make my day, but a negative review can ruin my week.

Don’t take it personally, and just try to get past it. This is easier said than done, and it will be a constant struggle for many of us, but the sooner you can learn this lesson the better. It is also a lifelong struggle, however, and if you are able to apply it to other facets of your life and focus on the good things in your life, then everything will be better.

Learn from my Mistakes

It is important to have a system for how you do things from the beginning to the very end. You have to understand your process of creating a novel, from writing those first words to handling the first month of promotion. It might take you a long time to get there, but this should be your eventual goal.

I made a lot of mistakes early in my career, and I feel as though I’m only just now getting the hang of self-publishing. There was a lot of research to perform to find the best way of building up a career.

All of my Books

Raven's Peak

World on Fire, Book 1.0

Raven's Fall

World on Fire, Book 2.0

Raven's Rise

World on Fire, Book 3.0

The Everett Exorcism

World of Shadows, Book 1.0

The Vatican Children

World of Shadows, Book 2.0

The Bishop's Legacy

World of Shadows, Book 3.0

The Ninth Circle

World at War, Book 0.0

Ripples Through Time

Time, Book 1.0

Second Chances

Time, Book 2.0

UAV

Horizon's Wake, Book 1.0

CRISPR

Horizon's Wake, Book 2.0

Graveyard of Empires

Graveyard of Empires, Book 1.0

Collision of Worlds

Graveyard of Empires, Book 2.0

All of my Skills